In a recent proof-of-concept field trial, Verizon and NEC Corporation were able to use network infrastructure with existing fiber optic cables already laid in the ground as distributed optical sensors to collect information on city traffic patterns, road conditions, road capacity, and vehicle classification information….Historically, companies have had to lay purpose-built fiber very shallow in the ground with fiber grating at pre-determined intervals to gather and synthesize this type of information. Now, with optical sensor technology developed by NEC, Verizon is able to use non-purpose built fiber already in the ground to generate similar data.
"This test marks an important milestone for technology that could provide a huge leap forward for those building smart cities and those tasked to manage them," said Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Technology Planning and Development with Verizon. "Instead of ripping up tarmac to place road and traffic-sensing technology, cities will be able to simply piggyback Verizon’s existing fiber optic network."
This is the first time and longest distance that such sensing data has been collected through an operational telecom network.
"NEC has a strong history of leadership in the area of optical fiber technology. The results obtained from this joint research program with Verizon are a great advancement for smart city business opportunities, especially for safer city solutions such as the conservation of roads and the utilization of traffic information. We are confident that these cutting-edge solutions will provide meaningful new value for optical fiber networks," said Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President of NEC.
Field Trial Example
Verizon and NEC just made fiber sensing a whole lot easier
NEC News October 8, 2019